DEL RIO – An optimistic and enthusiastic crowd filled the Del Rio Civic Center on Thursday as Abbott addressed a number of actions he will be implementing, including a wall between Texas and Mexico.
It was a summit hosted by the governor himself in an effort of bringing together various law enforcement agencies, local officials, and even landowners to announce his comprehensive border security plan, a crackdown on border crossings he says is an ongoing crisis.
“While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows,” he said.
Abbott said migrants crossing illegally will be arrested and confined for trespassing. He called the state’s response the most robust border plan in the nation.
He added the increase in arrests will call for an increase in jail space, though local officials stated some facilities are already at max capacity.
The governor also announced his plan to build the border wall, but provided no details on how it will be funded or where it will be constructed.
“I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border in the state of Texas,” he said.
Democratic State Rep. Eddie Morales, of Eagle Pass, said Abbott is targeting many areas that will bring much-needed resources to border communities.
When it came to Abbott’s plan on building the wall, Morales said, attention needs to placed elsewhere.
“I would much rather focus on technology, I’d rather much focus on personnel, putting that money into improving our ports of entry,” Morales said.
Abbott said the governor’s task force on border and homeland security will analyze and advise on strategies that will help control illegal crossings and other illegal activity, allocating $1 billion for border security.
The task force will consist of:
- Office of the Governor
- Office of the Attorney General of Texas
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Division of Emergency Management
- Texas Military Department
- Texas Commission on Law enforcement
- Texas Commission on Jail Standards
The task force is set to meet every two weeks to discuss everything related to the southern border.